I was so humbled yesterday in the office and it was by (of course, of all people) one of my little kids who comes in to the office. I swear I learn more from the kids in the office about life and treating others than I ever have doing anything else. This little girl isn't even one of my official patients. Her mom is pregnant and comes to me for prenatal care and is using one of the midwives next door and her daughter just happens to come with her each time she gets adjusted. I make it a point to talk to her on every visit and have worked on getting to know the little girl even though I'm not seeing her. I love the kids more than anybody (no offense to the rest of you!) because they are so uninhibited!! They say what they think, they get well super fast because they don't realize they aren't supposed to do that ;), and they're just real. Cindy says I get along with them so well because I'm on their brain wavelength!! They just think I'm a really big version of them!
Yesterday was a rough day for me. I had to deal with alot of issues coming up in business (we'll just leave it at that) and work through some bookkeeping housecleaning things I needed to tackle and was in a thoroughly depressed mood before I got to the office yesterday afternoon to see patients (owning your own business means you have to do the things you love AND the things you hate/I love patients, but hate to deal with business). I was ready to throw in the towel and go get a teaching job at the college and see a handful of patients out of our house and just be done with it!! I just felt like I was about to crack. So I prayed my heart out before I started so that I wouldn't bleed all over patients as I began my afternoon and felt a little relief but was just down overall. A couple hours into my day, still acting happy, and feeling beat down, this little girl walked up to Mae (our secretary) at the front desk and said, "Is Mr. Doctor Jim Bob here??". Mae told her I was with a patient so she thought about that for a minute and said, "Ok, well, could you give him this for me?" and proceeded to pass Mae a note to give me. This little girl is about 8-9 years old and we have had some great (and hilarious) conversations during her mom's visits. Mae catches me as soon as I walk out of the room with one of my new patients and smiling, gives me the note from this little girl (we'll call her "Susie"). "Susie" had made me a fold out card that she had written my name is big bubble letters in the middle of the page and all around it had written words to describe me. She put all these incredibly nice things all over the page about how nice I am, funny, a good doctor, patient, and all these words covering the page. She even drew a little picture of me explaining how a spine works to her just like I did in the office for her during one of their visits. In that moment God said, "See...this is why I have you doing this. Stay focused, trust in me, and never give up." It totally turned my day around and I zipped around the office like I was high on caffeine or something (my usual self!).
My whole day (and the day for dozens of patients after that) totally changed because this little girl chose to be an encourager. And to think, encouragement is one of my gifts that I'm called to use, and this girl blessed me more than anything by using my own gift back on me! It made me think about all the times I think great things about the people around me and then let the moment pass and don't actually tell them. People need to hear those things. They need to hear that you think the world of them, or that they are a great friend, a good listener, an excellent mother, a worthy father, a loyal son, a beautiful daughter, a wise brother, and all the other things that you feel about them. Why hold that back and miss blessing them or yourself?? So for the rest of that day I encouraged everyone else I had on my schedule and determined to tell each of them something positive about themselves while they were there so that they would feel better about themselves when they left than when they came. And you know what?? When I do that, I benefit more than they do! God heaps blessings on you when you dole them out to other people. In 2 Tim 1:3, Paul is writing to Timothy and he says, "Timothy, I thank God for you--the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers." He made a point to write to encourage Timothy to help him on path that God had him on that Paul had helped establish. One of the enemy's biggest tools to get us to sit on the bench and get out of the game is discouragement. The weapon that God has given us to use liberally and freely is the opposite of that: ENCOURAGEMENT!!!. So find someone who needs encouragement and throw some their way, you'll be amazed how much better you feel when you tell someone else how much you think of them.